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BE PEACEMAKERS (CC)

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Sermon Text: JAMES 3:13 - 4:6 Sermon Text: JAMES 3:13 - 4:6 [We] read from [JAMES] Chapter 3 beginning with Verse 18: WHO IS WISE AND UNDERSTANDING AMONG YOU? LET HIM SHOW IT BY HIS GOOD LIFE, BY DEEDS DONE IN THE HUMILITY THAT COMES FROM WISDOM. BUT IF YOU HARBOR BITTER ENVY AND SELFISH AMBITION IN YOUR HEARTS, DO NOT BOAST ABOUT IT OR DENY THE TRUTH. SUCH "WISDOM" DOES NOT COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN BUT IS EARTHLY, UNSPIRITUAL, OF THE DEVIL. FOR WHERE YOU HAVE ENVY AND SELFISH AMBITION, THERE YOU FIND DISORDER AND EVERY EVIL PRACTICE. BUT THE WISDOM THAT COMES FROM HEAVEN IS FIRST OF ALL PURE; THEN PEACE LOVING, CONSIDERATE, SUBMISSIVE, FULL OF MERCY, AND GOOD FRUIT, IMPARTIAL AND SINCERE. PEACEMAKERS WHO SOW IN PEACE RAISE A HARVEST OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. WHAT CAUSES FIGHTS AND QUARRELS AMONG YOU? DON'T THEY COME FROM YOUR DESIRES THAT BATTLE WITHIN YOU? YOU WANT SOMETHING BUT DON'T GET IT. YOU KILL AND COVET, BUT YOU CANNOT HAVE WHAT YOU WANT. YOU QUARREL AND FIGHT. YOU DO NOT HAVE, BECAUSE YOU DO NOT ASK GOD. WHEN YOU ASK, YOU DO NOT RECEIVE, BECAUSE YOU ASK WITH WRONG MOTIVES, THAT YOU MAY SPEND WHAT YOU GET ON YOUR PLEASURES. YOU ADULTEROUS PEOPLE, DON'T YOU KNOW THAT FRIENDSHIP WITH THE WORLD IS HATRED TOWARD GOD? ANYONE WHO CHOOSES TO BE A FRIEND OF THE WORLD BECOMES AN ENEMY OF GOD. OR DO YOU THINK SCRIPTURE SAYS WITHOUT REASON THAT THE SPIRIT HE CAUSED TO LIVE IN US TENDS TOWARD ENVY, BUT HE GIVES US MORE GRACE? THAT IS WHY SCRIPTURE SAYS: "GOD OPPOSES THE PROUD BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." This is the Word of our Lord. Let us pray: Glorious and gracious God, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of each of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, our Rock and our salvation. Amen. [Text taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers] Dear Followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ: It must have been an interesting walk that Jesus and His disciples were taking; the one that's recorded for us in our Gospel Lesson for this morning. That walk where Jesus was taking that time to once again share with His students what His purpose was. Why He had come to this world. To remind them that He was there as the Messiah. The One that God had sent into the world to deal with and to take care of sin. And the work that Jesus was going to accomplish was not going to be easy work. It was not going to be pleasant work. It would be work that would also severely affect His disciples. In their lives and how they thought and how they felt. And Jesus out of care and concern for them, continually comes back to them. Taking opportunities to share with them the events that were going to happen. That He was going to be betrayed. That He was going to be handed over and put to death. That He was once again going to be raised to life. That this was His purpose. This was His goal in coming. And yet, the disciples found that so difficult to grasp. Because they listened with earthly ears. And they thought with earthly minds and they couldn't comprehend fully what Jesus was saying to them. Because they had a very different thought rolling around in their heads about why Jesus had come. That He was gonna set up an earthly kingdom. That He was going to restore Israel to its days of former glory. It would be a world power. And a country that was proud of itself and what it could accomplish. So Jesus then sits down with them for the evening. And He also wants to know what else they were talking about when they were walking. And as is the case always with sin, the disciples were embarrassed. They didn't want Him to know what they really were talking about was who of them was the greatest. Who of them was the best disciple. Who of them would Jesus think was going to be the great leader to follow after Him. And Jesus came right to the heart of their sin and He spoke to that. And He says: Whoever wants to be first, needs to be the very last. Jesus speaks to us this morning with that same reminder. Because let's face it: You and I have those same types of sin. Those same thoughts in our own lives to varying degrees of intensity. That we want to be first! We want to be best! We want to have the things that are going to make us happy and we want to go after them! We don't like people who sometimes get all of the glory and gratitude when we know they didn't do a thing! And they stand there and take it knowing that they didn't do a thing. And it burns us up. Because we deserve to have that glory. We deserve to have that attention. We are the one who put in all the work and it never gets recognized and we become bitter. We become envious. And James comes to us and says to us this morning: That's not wise. That is not Godly. It is not God-like behavior. You have the wisdom of God. You have the knowledge of God. You have seen what Jesus Christ has done. And what He came to accomplish was the forgiveness of your sins. He did the will of the Father so that we could have forgiveness and we could have life. He bought us with His blood and brought us back to a relationship with the Father. That is one of love. That is one of compassion. Where we have this free exchange with God because that barrier of sin has been taken from us. But yet in our lives aren't we just like the adultress. And that's what James calls us ... an adultress people. You and I know and understand the love of God. You and I know and understand the relationship that we have with God. Yet there are times in our life when we love the world more than we love God. That we take our affections - that we take our love and give it to the world. We want the attention of the world. We want the world to notice us. We wanna be loved in this world. We wanna have friends in this world. We wanna have an easy life in this world. And we go as an adultress following the world and leaving the One who truly loves us behind. Walking away from Him. And then we wonder why we get into the situations we get into! Because the world is not a loving place. The world does not operate by God-like principles or on Christian behavior and they don't even begin to understand it. The things of this world. The joys of this world are temporary and passing. And if we're chasing after those, we are not going to have anything that lasts. Anything that is permanent. Not the permanence of the forgiveness of sins and an eternity in heaven with our God. Sure we're gonna be happy with the things that bring us pleasure, but they're gonna pass away if they're only about the things of this world. And we are going to have to deal with the reality of this world that it is filled with bitter people. That it's filled with envious people. That it's filled with people who want your job, and want the job that is over you, and are going to do anything that it takes to get it. There are people in the world who are just ... mean. Who will go after you and bully you because of the way you look, the person you are, and they don't care. And sometimes they're so cool to act just like your very friend. That's how the world acts and that's not wise. That's not the wisdom that we have received. James says to us this morning: Be peacemakers. Get rid of that bitterness. Get rid of that envy. Get rid of those things that stand in the way of creating peace in your lives. You do not have to live the drama of reality of TV in your home. You have a choice to live at peace. To create peace. To sow peace. To be considerate. To be friendly. To be kind. Yes, to be submissive. Not always to GET YOUR way. It may not be the best way. And we certainly know: Our way is not the ONLY way. And sometimes we just allow others to do the work. And let it be. That we're not standing over them to make sure they're doing it OUR way instead of letting them learn to do things their way. And what works for them. To teach people how to grow in who they are. To be at peace with them for the good of God's Church, for the good of God's family. For the good of God's people to be wise, to be smart. To not think of ourselves more highly than we ought. But to realize that God is going to bless our efforts at creating peace. That there will be a harvest of righteousness. Good things; wonderful things that will be a part of our daily life. That we come to God and ask that peace be in our lives just as we asked in the Psalm this morning. Peaceful lives so that we can rest in God's love. That we can return to Him the One who loves us and be His family. And live with Him. To bring to Him our prayers and requests that James says so clearly: Sometimes we don't have, because we don't ask. Or we ask because we only want things for ourselves and the things that make us happy. But we should ask things that are in accord with God's will. In Jesus' name. Focus on the things of heaven. Focus on those things that are spiritual as well as those things that are physical. To learn from those disciples. To hear what Jesus said His purpose for coming into this world was. To save sinners of which I am the worst. He saved me by His blood. He restored that beautiful relationship that I had lost because of sin with my heavenly Father. And now I live in that joy, I have that relationship where I can talk with Him about each and every aspect of my life and share with Him my concerns and share with Him my needs. And also to ask for requests for other people. That the Gospel be carried throughout the world so that more people will hear it and come to a knowledge of Jesus Christ. That I pray that God would give me opportunity to show that I am compassionate. To show that I can be considerate. To show that I do not always have to have my way, but that I can be submissive. To let me be the peacemaker. To let me start today for a harvest of righteousness that I will see with my very eyes in the future. But it starts today. For today let us sow peace. Amen. Let us rise. Now may the peace of God which goes beyond all of our understanding keep your hearts and your minds and especially your lives in the one true faith unto life everlastinging. Amen.

Video Details

Duration: 15 minutes and 30 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 65
Posted by: hischild on Oct 1, 2012

Following the example of Christ, we strive to be the peacemakers God wants of His people. Today's sermon is based on James 3:13-14:6. www.ziontorrance.info

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